America get ready because more royals are arriving! King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands are set to visit the United States for their first official tour of the country. During their three day trip on June 1 - 3, the royal couple will visit Chicago, Grand Rapids, Michigan and Washington, D.C.
“It’s my pleasure to welcome the Royal Couple on their first visit to the U.S. as King and Queen," said Rudolf Bekink, the Dutch ambassador to the U.S. "Their visit underscores the strong friendship between our two countries."
Some details of their visit have been released including a stop in Grand Rapids, where the city is anxiously awaiting their arrival. "We are honored and excited to be able to welcome his Majesty King Willem-Alexander and her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands to West Michigan," said Paule Heule, honorary Dutch Consul for West Michigan. "West Michigan was chosen not only because of our strong Dutch heritage but because of our ongoing business and cultural ties. We are emphasizing to the people of the Netherlands not only our rich heritage but also the great human and economic resources West Michigan has to offer to strengthen the global ties between our two countries."
Engagements in the Midwestern city include a tree planting at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. They will also be accompanied by a delegation representing 50 Netherland businesses. J.C. Huizenga is one entrepreneur who is looking forward to meeting the King and Queen. He shared, "It's kind of a once in a lifetime thing."
The royal couple will also meet with President Barack Obama, a meeting that will embody the 400-year relationship and strong economic, cultural and political ties between the two countries. The Dutch and U.S. economic relationship also supports 685,000 American jobs, according to the Dutch ambassador to the U.S. This meeting comes just months after the President met with British royals Prince William, Prince Charles and Camilla.
This official visit marks the first time the royal couple will travel to the United States as King and Queen. Willem-Alexander succeeded his mother, Queen Beatrix, to become King of the Netherlands in 2013.